HOWTO: Speed the Preinstallation Process for Windows 9x


This article describes how to use Smartdrv.exe to speed up the preinstallation process for Windows 9x operating systems.

NOTE: This information is for System Builders and OEMs who use the OEM Preinstall Kit (OPK) to preinstall Windows 9x operating systems.


There are two methods to enable Smartdrv disk caching:

Method 1

The first method for including Smartdrv disk caching for a Windows 9x preinstallation is described in the following steps:

  1. Start the target computer with the Preinstallation Boot Floppy (PBF) that you created by using the OEM Preinstall Kit.
  2. At the end of Preload, when you see the following message, press CTRL+C:

    Remove the Microsoft Preload boot Diskette from drive A: and press a key to continue with Preload.
  3. Create a folder called \Tools in the active partition, which is drive C.
  4. Copy Smartdrv.exe and into the \Tools folder.
  5. Edit \Pre_img\Autoexec.bat on the PBF to include the following lines:

    Path=c:\toolsSmartdrv c+
  6. Restart the computer. Smartdrv is enabled and the file copy process will tremendously speed up the preinstallation.

Method 2

The second method of automating the Smartdrv disk caching is as follows:

  1. Create the PBF.
  2. Copy the Smartdrv.exe file under the A:\Pre_img folder.
  3. Edit the A:\Pre_img\Autoexec.bat file on the PBF to include the following lines:
    Path=c:\toolsSmartdrv c+
  4. Use the PBF to start the target computer. Before the file copy process, Smartdrv is enabled.

Additional Information:

SMARTDRIVE is a disk-caching utility provided by Windows as Smartdrv.exe or Smartdrv.sys. This utility reserves a block of RAM and uses it to swap data from the hard disk to RAM. This procedure speeds up disk-drive access.

The SmartDrive statement is added to the Autoexec.bat in the following format:

smartdrv.exe [drive] [+ or -] <initial size> <windows size>
[drive] [+ or -] indicates the disk drive(s) to be cached by SmartDrive. Typing a minus sign disables all caching for the drive; a plus sign enables read and write caching for a drive. If neither plus nor minus is used, read caching is turned on and write caching is turned off.

If no drive letter is specified, all drives on the system (except for floppy disk and CD-ROM drives) are cached.

<initial size> is the kilobyte size of SmartDrive when Windows is not running or when Windows starts up. The default value is up to 2 MB of extended memory if you do not specify a value.

<windows size> is the kilobyte size to which to reduce SmartDrive if additional extended memory is required.


For information on preinstallation procedures, please refer to the Microsoft OEM System Builder Web site.

ID članka: 241458 - posljednja izmjena: 14. velj 2017. - verzija: 1

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